BskyB unplugs [.tv]

After five years of struggling to grow its audience, digital tech channel [.tv] closes down.
July 5, 2001

Diehard techies in the U.K. are about to lose the digital television channel devoted to their cause. In two months, British Sky Broadcasting’s [.tv] will go permanently offline, after five years on air. Andrew Sholl, BSkyB’s manager of corporate communications, explains why: ‘It wasn’t attracting the audience that we thought it would. It got males ages 25 to 34, which was its core demographic, but it didn’t get enough of them.’ In addition, he says, [.tv] failed to move beyond the satellite platform to either the cable or digital terrestrial tiers, and was unable to attract joint venture partners.

BSkyB’s decision to pull the plug on [.tv] will impact more than the channel’s 17 staffers. U.K. prodcos Illumina and Prospect Pictures supplied all of the channel’s content, which amounted to about 600 hours of original material per year. Sholl estimates that a total of 40 people from these two companies will be directly affected by [.tv]‘s closure.

[.tv], which was originally launched as the Computer Channel in 1996, will continue to air daily from noon to midnight on Sky Digital until the beginning of September.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.